Blurry Bliss - Dana Chirps

How on Earth has it been so long since I posted? Well, to be honest, that’s an easy question for me to answer. Life has been busy! It’s mostly been very good things…

February 22-March 19th: Brett and I had our 3-year anniversary, his 35th birthday, and my 33rd (saaay whaaaat!?). We also celebrated my cancer-free day (19 years!).

March 8th: My parents were in my neck of the woods for a hockey tournament (which my dad’s team won!), so we got to show them our home in Newburyport during this brief but wonderful visit. It was so nice to get to have a birthday dinner with my parents.

March 24th: Brett and I got to go to one of his friends wedding in Monteray, CA. It was an Indian wedding, which is something I have ALWAYS hoped to get to experience. We wore the traditional attire, ate tons of Indian food, and loved every aspect of it. It was the most spectacular and over-the-top (in the BEST way) wedding I’ve been to. The groom went to college with Brett, so it was all of his Purdue friends. It was so fun meeting them.

March 30th: My good friend from Fort Lauderdale, Angelica, visited me! It was SO nice to see her and we had a blast catching up. I’m hoping I can convince her to come up to Newburyport in the summer months someday because she saw it when it was pretty dead. Now that it’s summer, the town is vibrant and lively.

April 6th: Brett and I got together with my Nana in early April and took her to see the musical, A Bronx Tale. I had never heard of it, but Brett and Nana had! It was a really good play. I still think I prefer the classic heavy hitters, but it was nice to change it up with something less mainstream. Honestly, I was just thrilled to spend the day with Nana.

April 12th: My family suffered an unexpected and devastating loss of my “Uncle Nick”. He was technically my dad’s cousin and was his best friend in the world. It rocked our entire family. I can’t remember which family member said it, but Uncle Nick was “the best parts of Podgurski”. It was absolutely heartbreaking. And to know how sad my dad was to lose his very best life-long friend was unbearable. There is definitely a piece missing in our family, but I know he is looking down on us - especially my cousins.

April 24th: I chopped my hair off!!!!! This is something I’ve been debating literally for YEARS. I finally pulled the trigger, and did so in a bold way - I went to a different salon with a new-to-me stylist. I’m really glad I did it. I keep going back and forth on keeping or growing it back out. I like both!

May 2nd: I took a public speaking course. Normally, I feel very confident giving presentations but I had gone through a funk where I just couldn’t deliver the way I had in the past. I knew it was all in my head and I had to do something or it was going to eat me alive. I essentially used the course as a “reset button.” The instructor essentially said that I have zero issues speaking in front of people, but that I should focus on everything that happens as I am waiting to speak. He offered realistic and helpful tips. It was a good experience for me and I left feeling like my old self again.

May 4th-5th: Brett and I took a weekend trip to Providence and we both LOVED it (we hadn’t been before). PVD is a city that has been gentrifying. There are still some seedy parts, like any city, but overall we thought it was beautiful. The food scene is unreal. It’s common for chefs to graduate from Johnston and Wales and open restaurants in town. There’s also more Italians per capita than anywhere else in the country - so the restaurants in Federal Hill (think Little Italy) are as authentic (and delicious) as they come. The art scene is thriving with RISD being right there. Scenic canals run through the city. It’s a city that is funky, weird, enthusiastic, energetic, and packs a lot of punch for a small city.

May 17th: Brett got me an ebike! I had vowed to never ride a bike again after using one as a primary mode of transportation in Bermuda. But electric bikes are FUN since they provide assistance (mine has three levels of assistance). It’s still quite a workout though! I love that we can go on rides together.

June 2nd: Brett and I took another trip to Providence. Because we had such a great time when we went in May we went into this trip with a “could we live here?” mindset. We also went to a really cool rooftop bar and restaurant called Mare that I had found on “the gram”. We loved everything about it. My favorite part (other than the food itself) was that the rooftop (and killer views) is accessible all year round, too!

Weekend of June 8th: Brett and I attended a wedding in Philly! It was for our friends Kieran and Sam. They visited us while we were living in Bermuda. We had such a blast exploring city and then celebrating their marriage. It was my first time in that city and I really wanted to hate Philly (b/c I hate the Flyers). But I seriously thought Philly (the city, not their sports) was awesome. The foooooood. The walkability was topnotch too.

The Rest of June: It was a CRAZY but AWESOME month. I was gone the whole second half of it. First, I went to South Florida for a few days where I stayed with my friend Angelica (the one who came to visit me in NBPT back in March). I worked during the day and caught up with more friends at night. Then Angelica, myself, and two other girls took a long weekend to Panama. Angelica is Panamanian and graciously offered to host us - I’ll write a separate post about that trip! But we had an incredible time! After that weekend was over, we flew back into Miami and I spent a day working there before I then flew to Denver for a work conference.

Mondays and Tuesdays: I (still) take painting class twice a week. It is the highlight of my week, every week. I love both my instructor and my classmates. They’re all so brilliantly talented. It’s like a family at this point.

Bermy: He is 85lbs and about 8 months old, ha! When Brett and I both have work trips we send him to get formal training (since we’d be boarding him anyways, might as well!). He is so much more obedient! He’s really transformed into this dog that is just fun to have around. He makes Brett and I laugh on a daily basis. We’re so lucky to have such a sweet and lovable pup.

Work: It’s going great. Although the honeymoon phase is over, I still feel like my decision to join this company was a really good one. I seriously love the team I’m on - such good people, and we each carry our weight in our respective roles - no weak links in this group. One of my teammates and I went to a conference in May. It was a blast to hang with her and be back in the multifamily scene, as it was my first industry conference since moving to Bermuda! It was like a reunion in many ways. The best speaker was the CEO of Travelocity and the best “fun” part was going to event at Tom Tom and meeting both of the Toms from Vanderpump Rules. At the end of June I had another conference which was pretty good. The highlight speaker was our CEO (it was my first time hearing her speak and she was really compelling) and Mindy Kalig. The “fun” part was that one of my vendors rented out The Filmore and had The Struts and Keith Urban perform just for us! Right now I am in busy-season with a whirlwind of quick trips, but I live for the chaos.

So there you have it! I’m alive! Ha! So many more updates and news to share, but that is all for now.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Wait, it's February?

In some ways it feels like wrote my last blog post ten years ago (it was a month ago), and in other ways I feel like I just wrote it. The emotions of time sure are complicated.

So much has happened since January 1. For the month of January, I did a ton of work travel. The marketing team I’m on went to numerous regions to conduct trainings. Atlanta, Denver, Miami, Washington DC, Boston, Houston, Austin, and Dallas. It was a grind, but well worth it. And thankfully, I really enjoy the team I’m on so we had a blast. In the midst of my work travels, I also got to squeeze in time with my friends in Fort Lauderdale. I can’t even begin to describe how much I miss(ed) them and Laudy.

In January I also completed my third round of Whole30. Each round has had its own unique challenges. This time the challenge was remaining compliant with all that work travel I was doing! It took some will power at times (Root Beer Kombucha in the Denver Whole Foods - I’m looking at you!), and I packed a lot of my own snacks, but I did it. What was awesome about this round was that Brett did it with me! He made it 25 days, which is something to be very proud of! Not to mention, it meant a lot to me that he tried something that I’m “into”.

BERMY. Oh my goodness, Bermy. On January 5th Brett and I brought home a Greater Swiss Mountain Dog puppy who we named Bermy (“Bermy” is short for Bermuda). He’s sleeping through the night, has no qualms when we tell to “go to your castle” when it’s bedtime (his crate), and is a really chill dog to be around 70% of the time. The other 30%? He’s a complete maniac. We are going to be sending him to what I call “puppy cotillion” (training) to learn some manners. But I’m starting to really love this pup… even if he makes me cuss a little.

I have yet to pick up a workout routine. I tried Crossfit several months ago, and while I absolutely loved the people, the times weren’t really fitting with my schedule. There’s another gym nearby that is tempting, and I’m willing and able to spend more than average on a fitness facility because it’s priority for me… but even I have my limits! However, in an effort to meet people, I might bite the bullet and just give it a shot. Plus, I’m just not feeling as good as I know I can when I work out. I feel very skinny-fat.

Like I alluded to in the paragraph above, my social life is total shit here. I miss having a pack of girlfriends to do things with. I understand why I don’t. It’s a culmination of living in a challenging environment to meet people around my age, not being a huge drinker, and having a demanding job and work schedule. We pretty much only hang out with Brett’s friends, who I very much like, but I wish I had my own. This was also a contributing factor in getting a puppy - to combat the loneliness.

Last week I signed up for painting classes (to meet people and to do something I enjoy). I went to my first one on Monday and loved it. It was a small class, less than 10 people or so. I was the youngest one by at least two decades, but I didn’t mind. I was so happy to be around friendly people who also enjoy painting. The instructor is incredibly talented, and one of the nicest humans I’ve met since moving to New England. The warmth she gives freely to everyone is such a breath of fresh air.

Brett and I are now approaching holiday season. Today is Valentine’s Day… we are 0/3 in spending Valentine’s (physically) together… but he still made me feel extra special today while he was in Austin, TX. He sent me beautiful roses, chocolate, and a really sweet note (that I’ll probably keep forever). February 22 is our 3 year anniversary. March 1st is Brett’s birthday. March 9th is my birthday. March 19th is my cancer-free day. Good golly. Lots to celebrate.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

New Year Resolutions - 2019 - Dana Chirps

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When I think of 2018, I can’t help but think of the lyrics “thank you, next” by Ariana Grande. I had a lot of major life changes this year and although many of them are exciting, there was a lottt of stress behind some of them. Not to mention there were also intense moments of fear, sadness, and loneliness this year. Here are some of the changes that occurred:

  • Declined a great opportunity to try something different by working at an agency as a writer.

  • Left the agency to go back to doing marketing for luxury real estate.

  • Bought a condo in Newburyport.

  • Moved into said condo and immediately went to work on it - painting, fixing, furnishing.

  • Bought a new car.

  • Bought a puppy.

  • Did I mention this was my most expensive year to date?

Although I’m very much #byefelecia towards 2018, I did have some incredible experiences that I am so very thankful for. The 2018 highlight reel:

  • I made some dear friends in Portsmouth through a boutique gym called Mission. I honestly don’t think I would have made it through this year without them (or that gym!). Each of us is so different from one another… in terms of personality, you really couldn’t have assembled a more wonderfully diverse group of gal pals.

  • I completed two rounds of Whole30! (And learned how to make some DELICIOUS food from doing so!).

  • I went to two weddings and had an absolute blast celebrating the marriages of such wonderful friends.

  • I created “The Lady Den” in our condo. I absolutely love this space and use it almost daily.

  • I had one of my all time favorite Christmas’ with my family. It was also extra special because Brett joined and so did my brother’s girlfriend (who I absolutely adore). My favorite part was when we all played Cards Against Humanity with my parents - it was HYSTERICAL and so much fun.

  • Brett and I crossed off a bucket list concert - Elton John!

  • I spent time with my niece, nephew, and sister. Those kids are remarkable and my sister has done such a good job raising them.

  • Brett and I took an amazing trip to Spain. We went to Tenerife and experienced the black sand beaches and the most over the top resort. Then we went to Madrid which I would consider my favorite culinary experience in Europe thanks to the jamon de iberico, octopus, coffee, and rioja! It was our first major vacation together and I am so thankful that we got to spend such quality time together.

  • When I went from the agency back to real estate, the people at the agency through me a goodbye party and that was one of the funnest nights I’ve had since moving back to the states.

  • I went to Portland, Maine, Hilton Head Island, Burlington, Vermont for the first time.

  • I went skiing for the first time! And I liked it!

Now for resolutions! Before I get to my resolutions for 2019, I wanted to review my resolutions from last year. My thoughts are in bold.

  1. Fitness - I just need to get back into my routine groove. I was doing a good job for a while, and then the whirlwind of the move and interviews and transitional craziness took over. But now that Brett and I are moved in, game on. I am also going to try some local fitness spots... cycle studios, yoga (you read that right), etc. It will be a great way to meet people. Nailed it! At least until around September. Then I fell off the workout wagon! BIG TIME.

  2. Make NH my own - Brett is from here, so it's all "his." His hometown, his family (who all live nearby), his friends, his spots, etc. My goal is to make my own friends, and find my own spots. This was a challenge. Ultimately, I learned that I needed to be closer to the city and that I really didn’t like living in Portsmouth. (It’s worth mentioning that I have a fantastic time spending the day in Portsmouth, I just didn’t like living there.) Moving to Newburyport has proven to be a positive change and it makes more sense for our jobs, as well.

  3. Diet - Clean.it.up. Whole 30, here we come. I have a lot more on this coming, so I'll keep it at that for now. Welllll I did great while on Whole30, and I still kept up with some of the healthy habits I developed. But starting this fall my diet and fitness went to complete garbage.

  4. Work - Contract work has been a blessing, but I am switching gears and looking for a marketing position within a company. I miss being a part of a team, and the level of work that can only be accomplished with the resources and manpower that stems from working for a company. Added bonus: this will also help with goal number 2. Fingers crossed my next endeavor involves a bit of traveling, too. This was also accomplished. Although I’m still in what I call the “honeymoon phase” of a new job - I am really happy so far. It’s challenging, involves travel, and it’s getting to market what I really love - luxury products.

  5. DanaChirps - Continue to write. Continue to photograph. Share more. I also feel ok about this. I took a hiatus from writing in this blog to some degree, but I was still using my creativity through photography and painting.

Ok! 2019 Resolutions:

  1. Get back into a fitness routine. As I mentioned above, I fell off the wagon around September. I don’t feel as good, and am grumpier and lumpier when I don’t workout. For Christmas, I asked Brett for an Apple Watch since having a fitness tracker is extremely motivating for me. My Apple Watch has already helped and I love using it!

  2. Diet. I’ve got to stop buying junk. If we don’t buy it, we don’t eat it. Brett and I are on Day 1 of Whole30 (more on this later) to hopefully reset our habits.

  3. Creative. I’ve picked up my brushes again and my goal is to paint regularly. I also want to keep up with photography and writing. Now that we are “settled” I finally feel like I have enough mental space where I can do these things again.

  4. Go to Boston more. Newburyport has a train that takes you right to North Station and Brett and I need to take advantage of this and get to really know our city.

  5. Go outside more. I think this will naturally resolve itself once we get Bermy (our puppy) on Saturday. Brett also got me a sleeping bag of a warm winter jacket to make this possible. Brett also got me skis, so I’ll be able to do that occasionally, too! Have I mentioned that I am beyond blessed to be with such a giving person that is willing to do anything to make me happy?

  6. Make new friends. This is my most challenging resolution. Most people my age are busy chasing their adorable babies, Newburyport is small, I have a demanding job and a hard time relating to your stereotypical New Englander. Making friends has never in my life been an issue, but here we are.

4 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Three Month Whirldwind - DanaChirps

Has it really been over 3 months since I wrote a blog post? That’s easily the longest I’ve gone without hitting “publish.” Weird, but explainable…

After Brett and I moved back to the states from Bermuda late last fall, we moved into his condo in downtown Portsmouth, NH. It’s a grey, beer-drinking town with a funky art scene that I’m pretty sure boasts more plaid shirts per capital than anywhere else in the world. The restaurants there are top notch and you can literally walk to Maine or drive a traffic-free 20 minutes to Massachusetts. Brett had renovated his condo just before we moved to Bermuda so it was fun to finally get to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

Portsmouth on a rare sunny day.

Portsmouth on a rare sunny day.

But there were several reasons why we ultimately decided to move out of Portsmouth. Although we were completely fine with the amount of living space, Brett’s condo didn’t have the storage space that we both wanted. I was working as a writer in Amesbury, MA, about a 30 minute drive each way. Brett flew and continues to fly in and out of Bedford, MA. Even with logistics aside, I felt “trapped” in Portsmouth and too far away from the city life that makes my soul come alive. And the independent woman in me (cue the Z-snap) loathed living in a place that was Brett’s - his town, his condo, his friends, etc. It’s hard to not feel like a guest in your own home/town with that set up. That’s not to say that he didn’t do everything he could to make me feel like it was “ours” - because he did and I love him for that. I just happen to be deeply passionate about living in a place I can make my own, that we can make our own.

We started looking for new places early on, initially out of curiosity. Thankfully, Brett’s best friend since forever is a (wonderful) local realtor and was happy to show us options. At first this process stressed me out beyond belief because I was already forced to leave Bermuda and move somewhere that wasn’t my top choice (though, it’s far from my bottom pick), I had never bought a home before and was terrified of the idea of planting roots (regardless of location), and I didn’t know the area well enough to know if I was formulating smart opinions. However, looking back, even as hard as it was, I am glad we did this because it helped me get to know the different towns quickly. As soon as I saw Newburyport, I loved it. (For the Richmonders reading this, imagine Monument Ave + The Fan but with a nautical New England vibe.)

Last March, Brett had dropped me off at an appointment and he went to tour a condo in Newburyport to kill time. When he came back to pick me up, he blurted out, “I found our place!” I told him to call the realtor to see if I can go see it since we were in the area. She didn’t answer. So he called his best friend (our realtor), who connected with the realtor representing the condo. It’s after hours. There were already four offers. So in true New England real estate fashion, we offered well above the asking price (so did the others) but sweetened the pot by offering a move-in date that we knew would appeal to the owners. And we got it. Yes, we put an offer on a house before I had laid eyes on it. I know, I know. Such a classic Dana move. But I trusted that Brett would never take the chance on being wrong with something as big as buying a home.

So we moved into our condo early July. It’s 2/2 and about three times the size of our condo in Portsmouth (which we rented out). We have been doing house projects ever since. So much painting. Pealing paint. Painting paint. Hiring painters to paint. So many coats of paint. Sanding. Patching. Ordering furniture. Sending furniture back. Hanging things on walls. There is a sense of urgency because it’s impossible to do stuff during winter and because living in a place that feels incomplete drives.me.batshit.crazy. We’re THIS close to having the place be presentable enough to have people over.

Although we are in the midst of approximately 12,000 house projects, it feels so good to live here. We have plenty of space, plenty of storage. We both love living in Newburyport. We are two blocks from the water and appreciate how it’s such a focal point in this town. The downtown is smaller than Portsmouth’s, but Newburyport is more open. There are tons of parks, trails, and paths which we take advantage of regularly. We are a five minute drive from the beach, Plum Island. There is a train in town that takes you to North Station in Boston. If we wanted to drive into the city, we can easily do so, too.

I have the space to do the things I love. The space to walk and explore. The space to think and write and paint. For the first time since moving back to the states, I finally feel like I can breathe.

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Year 31 - Dana Chirps

below is a glimpse of year 31 

below is a glimpse of year 31 

Another trip around the sun, and another year in the books! Year 31 was surreal. It's funny to look back each year and reflect. Never would I have or could I have predicted the events that occurred. Here are my highlights, in no particular order:

  • Went to a Bruins game at TD Garden. I had seen them play in other rinks, but it was my first time to see them play on their home turf. The atmosphere was awesome.
  • Moved to another country. This was a major bucket list item of mine. I'm not surprised that I moved to another country, but I never would have guessed it was going to be Bermuda! And I never would have anticipated that it would happen when it did.
  • I lived Bermuda. This bullet point could be it's own blog post, but I'll highlight some of the bigger events and things I got to participate in while living there! I can look back on my experience there knowing that I did not sit back and let that experience pass me by. I took full advantage of getting to live in such a spectacular place.
  • Used a pedal-bike as primary mode of transportation. I pedaled all over the eastern side of Bermuda. I hated grocery day, because I was lugging the extra weight of food in my backpack up those crazy hills. But there was something special about pedal-biking home late at night with Brett. With very few cars on the road, hardly any street lights, and the tree frogs singing their hearts out - it felt like we were the only two people on the island. I look back and feel proud to have experienced and adapted to that lifestyle change, even if I don't miss depending on a pedal-bike. 
  • Went to Punta Cana. This was a work trip, but I had time to have some fun. I'm thankful I got to go to another country (on someone else's dime!) and experience it, but I don't have any desire to go back.
  • I learned to drive a scooter, sorta. So motorized scooters, aka "bikes," are the main mode of transportation in Bermuda. I zipped around on various bikes of various sizes, and I'm pleased to say I survived. lol.
  • Attended the Good Friday Festival. This is a big event in Bermuda. And I'm SO glad I went because that was the first day I made friends on the island - and they ended up being some of the most wonderful people I've ever met. (Shout out to Bios peeps and Kickboxing peeps!)
  • Hosted friends and family in Bermuda! I pretty much singlehandedly increased Bermuda tourism with all of my visitors. It was such a treat to have them come visit, and was so much fun showing them around the island!
  • Hosted my parents in Bermuda! They get their own bullet point. It was my dad's very first trip out of the states, and it was a BIG deal. This ended up being one of my favorite weekends, ever, as in, in my whole life. I can't even begin to describe the joy I felt when I watched my parents see Horseshoe Bay for the first time. 
  • Connected with friends who were visiting. Oh my gosh, was this fun! Blast from the past type of reunions went down when my friend Meredith was visiting, and then when my friend Jaime was on the island. Nothing quite like rekindling a childhood friendship.
  • Made the MOST INCREDIBLE FRIENDS while living in Bermuda. I know I've said this like 100 times on this blog, and I'll probably say it 50000 more times, but it's true. The friendships I made on the island were unlike anything else I've ever experienced. I miss them so much, and am so appreciative of how welcoming they were. I don't know if I've ever been so quickly embraced before. 
  • Attended America's Cup. THIS was one of the best times this past year, and we were so lucky to get to experience it! 
  • Saw tall ships!
  • Went to a Cub's game.
  • Went to the Yves Saint Laurent exhibit with my mom. 
  • Took a tour of Bermuda from the sky. Such a spectacular way to see the island.
  • Represented the East side while attending Cup Match!
  • Went to Non-Mariners on a catamaran cruise.
  • Saw the glow-worms. (It's a Bermuda thing, and I totally geek out over this!)
  • Took tons of photos with my Nikon. Taking more photos with that camera was a goal of mine, so I'm glad to have accomplished this!
  • Swam in caves. 
  • Heard the tinkling at Seaglass Beach.
  • The last weekend we were in Bermuda. So during the last weekend in Bermuda, Brett and I did enjoyed all our favorite things "one last time." This ended up being one of my favorite times while we lived there because we literally did EVERYTHING over the course of a couple days. Loved every second.
  • Flew private with Brett as the pilot! 
  • Visited Charlottesville with Brett. I lived there for a year, and Brett lived there for 3-4 years. We just missed each other. Although Charlottesville is not where I'd EVER want to live again, it was really fun to go back there with Brett and reminisce and visit places we both liked.
  • Moved back to the states, to Portsmouth, New Hampshire. I can't quite say this was a "highlight," but it was significant. Portsmouth wasn't the first place on my list, but I'm definitely glad we didn't end up near the last place on my list! Living up here is extremely different than the lifestyle I had in Bermuda and South Florida. But it's getting better, and I think it will continue to do so. But I'll always be a sunshine girl.
  • Wedding dress shopping for Mamie in Georgetown! 
  • Going to a UNH hockey game with my parents. 
  • Having Nana for Christmas. I loved that she decided to spend Christmas at my parent's house in VA. It was so much fun having her, and showing her some of our Christmas traditions.
  • Completed my first round of Whole30!
  • Made my own friends in Portsmouth. This is so important to me. I love and adore Brett's friends, but for the sake of nuturing my independent spirit, I knew I needed to make my own ASAP. I joined an amazing gym (Mission Portsmouth), and completed a challenge in January that essentially involved me taking 40ish classes in 3 weeks. I became tight with a few of the girls who also did this challenge. It feels so good to have girlfriends to chat with and to hang out with.
  • Went to my first Patriots game. It was insanely cold, but what a cool experience. Patriots fans are pretty hysterical, and we sat next to some wildly entertaining ones!
  • Went skiing for the first time! This is the only redeeming thing about winter. Brett took me on a "warmer" day (40 or so degrees), and I started off with a lesson. I had a pretty lame instructor. I had envisioned a 19 year old hottie that uses the word "gnarly" regularly, and ended up with a woman with the personality of a stapler. Luckily, it was only a 60 minute lesson. When it was done, Brett took me up on the chairlift, and I had a BLAST. He was a really good instructor, too. I hope I can get good enough to hold my own on wussy hills soon.

I love doing this post every year, as it lets me reflect on how much can happen in 365 days. I'm excited to see what Year 32 holds, and can't wait to begin that journey tomorrow.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

New Year Resolutions - 2018 - Dana Chirps

New Year Resolutions 2018 Dana Chirps

New Year Resolutions 2018 Dana Chirps

What a year! Whew! I made it out alive, ha! SO much happened in 2017. Left my beloved sunshine state that I happily resided in for four years. Moved to and lived in Bermuda. Moved back to the states. Switched to (remote) contract work full-time. Traveled to Punta Cana, Chicago, and a few other spots. Saw JMU win the championship game in Frisco. Learned how to live and thrive on an island. Pedal biked all over said island. Singlehandedly increased Bermuda tourism by having so many friends and family come to visit me! Learned to embrace simplicity. Got to properly host Brett in Richmond. Had Nana join my parents and family over Christmas. Took tons of photos. Read some great books. Found secret beaches. Participated, experienced, and enjoyed the Bermudian national holidays. Befriended some of the best people I've ever met who are from all over the world. Cheered for Team USA at America's Cup. There's so much. Yes, of course there were times of intense stress and tears, but I can say that this year completely changed my life, who I am, and who I want to be.

That all being said... here's a recap of my last year's resolutions with my comments in bold followed by my resolutions for 2018!

My goals for 2017:

  1. Fitness - Ease into training programs, and be more diligent about injury prevention. I had two injuries this year - left knee and left hip... largely due to going balls to the wall. As much as I looooathe stillness - I'm afraid that yoga might need to happen more regularly regardless of whether or not I want to. At least I love yoga apparel, so I'm halfway there. I did a great job with this! No real injuries in 2017, and I listened to my body a whole lot more than I did in previous years. But I still haven't added yoga to my repertoire. 
  2. Diet - This year I'd like to focus on eating clean. My plan to accomplish this is to do more cooking and going out to eat less. Luckily now that I have a boyfriend, it's a lot more fun to cook. I don't enjoy cooking for myself - it's just a utilitarian task when it's just me. But I do enjoy cooking for someone who warmly appreciates my meals. This one was a little tricky to figure out in Bermuda since they didn't have all the same products that we have in America. Or some products would be at one store and others at another - which would be fine and dandy if we weren't pedal biking to get to places. Overall, I'd say we did pretty good, but the effort was inconsistent.
  3. Work - Find projects/work that allow me to feel empowered and fulfilled. Because Bermuda is very keen on hiring Bermudians, I had to source my own clients for remote marketing contract work. I was able to do so successfully. Some of my contracts and clients were better than others, but was very thankful to have my own full-time income while living in BDA. I do miss the scope of the projects that can be accomplished when working for a company as an employee, and the chaos that I seem to perform best in.
  4. Travel - I don't know where. I don't know when. I just know. And considering we're only two weeks into 2017 and I've already traveled to the Dallas area and Orlando... I think I'm on track. I did end up adding to this list with more trips, but I mostly focused on Bermuda. I am SO glad I did so. 
  5. Photography - Practice, practice, practice. I also ordered a couple of new gadgets that I need to learn. I took tons of photos this year, and am proud to have sold quite a few products with my images on them. 
  6. Embrace Simplicity - Buy less stuff. Don't do everything all the time. Just stop and BE more often. So this was somewhat forced in Bermuda. I brought only 3 suitcases... one for clothes, one for shoes, and one for products. I brought too much. I pedal biked to get to places. I hung out with friends at the beach. I went on walks almost daily. It was a beautiful way to live. 
  7. Relax More - This sort of ties into embracing simplicity. I'm a naturally high-octane person, but I think it would be beneficial for me to learn to make time to operate at a level 6 rather than a constant 10. This was also forced in Bermuda. City chaos and night life is substituted with days spent outside. It was a pretty amazing trade.
  8. Relationships -This effort is for all kinds of relationships I have. But I'd like to continue to work on being less reactive. I'm not totally sure, but I think it stems from thinking of worst case scenarios when something is unknown or unclear to me. Worst case scenarios are often sort of scoffed at, but my reality is that on more than one occasion the worst case scenario I imagined was actually the truth. Learning to separate past from present is a challenge, but it's one that I think I could benefit from. Slowly but surely this one has come a long way! 
  9. DanaChirps - I am really focusing on building the social presence - so if you're not already following me - click on the little grey social media icons on the top right hand corner, and subscribe to my email newsletter (homepage). Emails probably won't be launched until Q3. So I was a bit of an over-shooter with my email newsletter. But I grew in all areas of social media. 

Ok now for 2018 new year resolutions!

  1. Fitness - I just need to get back into my routine groove. I was doing a good job for a while, and then the whirlwind of the move and interviews and transitional craziness took over. But now that Brett and I are moved in, game on. I am also going to try some local fitness spots... cycle studios, yoga (you read that right), etc. It will be a great way to meet people.
  2. Make NH my own - Brett is from here, so it's all "his." His hometown, his family (who all live nearby), his friends, his spots, etc. My goal is to make my own friends, and find my own spots. 
  3. Diet - Clean.it.up. Whole 30, here we come. I have a lot more on this coming, so I'll keep it at that for now.
  4. Work - Contract work has been a blessing, but I am switching gears and looking for a marketing position within a company. I miss being a part of a team, and the level of work that can only be accomplished with the resources and manpower that stems from working for a company. Added bonus: this will also help with goal number 2. Fingers crossed my next endeavor involves a bit of traveling, too.
  5. DanaChirps - Continue to write. Continue to photograph. Share more. 
Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Moving to another country? Here's what you need to know!

Tips for moving to another country - Dana Chirps

Tips for moving to another country - Dana Chirps

There are so.many.things to think about when you're moving to another country. Each country has their own set of rules, and way of doing things. You absolutely have to do your research. Below are some matters that you will want to have a plan for before making the jump and moving to another country. 

Health Insurance: When you travel internationally frequently, or are living internationally for a period of time you're going to want to be protected regardless of your actual location. Be sure to find a plan that suits your specific needs.

Drivers License: One thing I wish Brett and I understood better prior to coming to Bermuda was how to obtain our scooter license. In Bermuda it is a three step process, and none of the steps can happen on the same day. The steps were: physical, written exam, and then driving test. We also had to learn how to drive on the left side of the road, which took some practice. 

Medications: You may not be able to find the exact same medication in every country. This might not be a big deal for some, but for others, it could really be a serious problem. I recommend contacting your new pharmacy in advance to see what your options are, and then work with your provider in finding a solution if needed.

Work Permit: If you're planning on moving to another country and "figuring it out when you get there," you're in for a rude awakening. Bermuda is very passionate about hiring Bermudians... so when there is a new job opening on the island they have to post it for a certain amount of time to give Bermudians first dibs... if no Bermudians are qualified, only then can they make that position accessible to expats. I also wasn't allowed to volunteer because it could be taking away experience from a Bermudian. Thankfully, I went to Bermuda with (remote) work in place. 

It is tedious to do the research on these matters, but it is absolutely necessary! 

Like this article? Then check out the number one thing that living in Bermuda made me appreciate about the United States.  

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

My Top Three Reasons Why I Love Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Near Fort St. Catherine - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Near Fort St. Catherine - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Who would have thought that a teeny tiny island in the Middle of Nowhere, Atlantic would have made such a massive impact on me. I've been trying to peg down exactly why I love Bermuda, and what I think makes it such a special place. 

Cooper's Island Nature Reserve - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

Cooper's Island Nature Reserve - Bermuda - Dana Chirps

  1. Natural Beauty. I think this one was sort of a no-brainer and expected. But I do think it is worth mentioning that I have had the privilege of visiting other gorgeous islands (St. Thomas, St. Martin, St. Croix, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, Dominican Republic), and Bermuda still wins. The whole color scheme is brighter here. Blues are bluer, pinks are pinker. Vibrant tropical flowers that nonchalantly grow everywhere. The water is so dang blue that I continuously have to convince people I'm not filtering or editing the photos I show them. And then you see the pink sand, and it's like "Ok, Bermuda. You're just showing off now." ;)
  2. The people. I simply can't get over the caliber of person I've met and become friends with here. Most of my friends in Bermuda are other expats, and there is this unspoken and deep level of empathy of knowing what it is like to be the new person in a new country. Everyone is welcoming, and invites everyone to everything. Not to mention how fun it is to meet other people who are kind of like you in the sense that they picked up and moved to another country to live on a 20 square mile island. It's an adventurous bunch to say the least!  
  3. Simplicity. So this is something that can be adopted in the states, but it is SO much harder to do so. In the states, there are so many options, all of which are convenient. We run on consumerism, and don't blink an eye at all the things we encounter each day. However, in Bermuda, Brett and I have embraced simplicity. No TV, we pedal bike (not to be confused with "bike" which means "scooter" on the island) everywhere, and mostly spend our free time taking advantage of the island life. Our main grocery store is maybe 1000 square feet, and we purchase our meat from a guy right off the boat. Although nothing is "easy" to do, and you really have to plan your day around simple activities (because you have to allocate time to pedal bike to the store, hope they have everything you need, and pedal bike home).. the simplicity of it is refreshing.

Conversely, if you want to see what living in Bermuda has made me appreciate about the United States - check out this post!

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Number One Thing that Living in Bermuda has Made Me Appreciate About The United States - Dana Chirps

I've been living in Bermuda since mid-March, and feel unbelievably blessed and privileged to get to experience something so extraordinary. It hasn't always been easy (despite what my Instagram depicts), and has been a massive adjustment coming from South Florida. But nevertheless, it's predominantly been an inspiring, thought-provoking, and delightful experience. Living on a teeny (20 square miles!) island has certainly made me acknowledge and appreciate certain things in America that I unintentionally took for granted. So I thought for this year's Independence Day, I'd share with you what I've learned to appreciate about The United States since moving to Bermuda. (Bermuda friends, there will be a post about what I love about Bermuda in comparison to the US coming up. I don't want you all to think I'm hating, I love this island. Every place has their pluses and minuses.)

The number one thing that living in Bermuda has made me appreciate about The United States is the size of the USA. I used to see it as a hinderance, and often wish states operated independently, as their own little countries - much like Europe. I am now undecided as far as that goes. But the biggest mental shift I've made since moving to BDA, is identifying the advantages of being from a massive country...

Cost of living. You can live, do, eat, and drink SO MUCH for relatively SO LITTLE in the US. Most of everything here in Bermuda is imported, so things like groceries are way more expensive. Cars, even old ones, are expensive. Renting is pricy due to the fact that the demand largely exceeds the supply. A gym membership (decent, no-frills type of gym) is about $200 per month. Thank heavens the beach is free. 

Education. Many locals here have to leave the island to get their college education. The wealthier families send their kids to boarding schools in the North East during grade school. I'm not saying the education is bad, I honestly haven't looked deeply into it. But I have noted that trend in conversations with local Bermudians and other expats.

Traveling. As Americans, we can travel into any and every state whenever we please. Each state has its own unique flair, and most people go their whole lives without seeing all 50 because the country is just so massive, and also due to time and money constraints. But the fact we have free access to every state is amazing. I think Americans (even myself at times) forget that our own country is so worthy of traveling. 

But it's not the actual size of the US that propels this, it's the amount of choices we have in America. More land, more people, more innovative and creative minds, more education, more businesses, more restaurants, more job opportunities, more everything. The fact we can choose from so many options of everything is INCREDIBLE. How blessed I was to be able to pick up and move to South Florida (for no other reason than I liked it), choose from a multitude of paths career-wise, and then successfully pursue the career of choice, eat delectable (and affordable) healthy food for lunch, go to a boutique gym with bells and whistles, and then choose from about 30 nearby places (no exaggeration) for a swanky dinner with cocktails... all while living comfortably (3 blocks from the beach), and still having enough to put aside like the responsible adult I attempt to be on occasion. Albeit unintentionally, I took this all for granted while living stateside. Obviously, I've since reflected and have found the vast variety of options in the US to be such an empowering, and invigorating thing to think about. It's truly a country where you can do anything, and how lucky I am to get to call this country home. 

Happy Independence Day! And a sincere thank you to our military (and their families) who serve our country. We would be nothing without you.

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Better Than Good - Dana Chirps

Happy Easter! I've always loved the cheerful nature of this holiday. 

So I've lived in Bermuda for just a little over a month now. Brett left April 3rd for his rotation (and will be gone for about 30 days), so I've been on my own since then. I wouldn't say I've been "homesick," but I have really missed having a thriving social life. This city-people-culture-chaos-loving girl coming from South Florida, now living in a secluded section of an island with no transportation has been enduring a bit of a culture shock. And with my partner in crime (Brett) gone, I was beginning to feel lonely and isolated. When you're feeling like that, it amplifies anything remotely negative. All too quickly I was relating to Tom Hanks in the movie "Castaway," only I didn't have a Wilson.

TomHanksWilsonCastaway - Dana Chirps

But God and the universe works in wonderful ways at times. It's like it knew I was in need of human connection. Brett's coworker reached out to me to tell me about this Good Friday event happening up the road from me. All I had to hear was that there were going to be other humans present to be sold on attending myself. So after I wrapped up work for the day, I walked a little over a mile to the end of the gokart race (because that's what they do). There was a massive crowd, all in good spirits. I was delighted to see so many people, even if I didn't know a single soul. After the race, the crowd broke out into a parade of sorts. Drummers and Gombey dancers came out of seemingly nowhere. Everyone (including myself) followed them until we ended up at this field where there was music, booze and food vendors, and kite flying. Kite flying is a big thing to do on Easter weekend - kites were being flown all over the island. But I have to say the Gombey dancers were my favorite, especially the kids. They were GETTIN' IT. I loved seeing children in the crowd bravely jump in and start dancing with the performers! It was so fun to watch.

At the Good Friday Festival (I'm not even sure if that's what it's called, or if there was even a name for it), I brought my Nikon to keep myself entertained, and talked to anyone who intentionally (or unintentionally) made eye contact with me. I finally ended up meeting a few folks who looked to be around my age. Most of them work as oceanographers (how cool is that?!). It was a mix of friendly expats and Bermudians, I was stoked. I grabbed the phone number of one of the girls I was chatting with and hope to take a workout class taught by one of the guys in that group later this week with her. I also bumped into Brett's coworker there, who introduced me to a few other people. It was a good time!

Then on Saturday (yesterday) I got up and biked to the bus stop, where I took a bus "into town," which means the city of Hamilton. It was my first bus ride in Bermuda, and it was a lot easier than I expected, and quite a scenic ride. I got to Hamilton in about 30 minutes (I'm told normally it takes 45), and met up with a girl named Heather that Brett introduced me to that is also a pilot, but for a different company. We went to a fun coffee shop, and a couple of her girlfriends joined us. It was such a blast! The conversations were hilarious, and it felt so good to hang out with a bunch of gal pals! From there, Heather and I met up with one of her other friends for a late lunch at this fantastic cafe. After lunch we walked around a bit, and then Heather had to head home. I walked around on my own for a little while, and got some groceries since there was a store near the bus stop, and commuted back to my part of the island via bus then bike. It was a wonderful day. As I told Heather, it was the first time I actually felt optimistic versus convincing myself to be optimistic with regards to having a social life on this beautiful island.

Ahhh, this weekend was a good one. Better than good.  

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Rambling Thoughts - Dana Chirps

Bottles Dana Chirps
  • So a FB friend posted this article about Beyonce not getting album of the year. I thought it was extremely well written, and to quote Adele, "What the f*ck does she have to do to win album of the year?” I mean, really!! That isn't to discredit Adele's album, but "Lemonade" was revolutionary. I watched the entire visual album, and it was intense, emotional, and thought provoking. If you haven't, you should. 
  • My stomach growls so insanely loud. Like, people I'm talking to on the phone can hear it. I've even interrupted work meetings because of it. Anybody else experience this?
  • Brett is 3/4 through his 30 day rotation... which means I have less than two weeks to pack 3 suitcases of stuff for the move. I'm starting to get anxiety. About the packing. Not the move.
  • I've noticed that one piece bathing suits have really come a LONG way. There are some insanely cute ones on the market. Liiiiike this one. I'm still sticking to my bikinis, but for the first time in my life I've been truly tempted to snag a one piece! 
  • Joining Burn Boot Camp Short Pump for the month has been such a great reminder of how much I love being around good girlfriends. This group is so positive, and supportive, non-judging, and uplifting. I will miss my Burn Tribe so much after I move! Though, rumor has it they might be visiting me, which would be amazing
  • Today I woke up with a hoarse voice (fighting a cold)... it's SO weird to hear my new voice hoarse. 
  • I am beyond thankful for the warmer temperatures we've been having in Richmond. 
  • I have some exciting work projects up my sleeve that I can't wait to share. 
Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Flowers and Lists - Dana Chirps

Ah, so we all survived another Valentine's Day. I have so many weird and mixed emotions about the day. Personally, I like for it to be acknowledged but with nothing over the top. I loathe going out to eat for Valentine's (too crowded - would rather cook a meal together), and I am not a typical jewelry girl. But I doooo lovvve getting flowers. Maybe it's because I've grown up seeing my dad buy my mom flowers almost on a weekly basis that they mean something more to me. Plus they're beautiful and add so much life to a space. Much to my delight, Brett didn't disappoint. Even though he's in Dubai (8 hours ahead of us), he still made sure I got flowers on Valentine's Day, and that I felt special. I feel happy, lucky, and grateful he was thoughtful enough to do this for me, especially since I know what it feels like when the person you're with doesn't care or even make an effort on this Hallmark holiday.

But regardless of what side of luck I've been on, I have always enjoyed seeing couples doing thoughtful things for each other. It was fun to scroll through social media and read/see the efforts made this Valentine's Day. But man, when I sensed disappointment in a status or conversation, I felt for that person. Lord knows I've been there. I hope those people (despite their warranted disappointment) did something for themselves. 

I think in general we (as a society) forget to do things for ourselves. We do things for work, we do things for other people, but it's easy to forget about doing things for solely yourself to keep your mind at peace, or what I like to call in Positive Vibe Land.

Less than a week ago my cousin had posted a pic on her Instagram of The 52 Lists Project. After I looked it up, I knew I had to order it. Writing is what brings me to Positive Vibe Land. So I thought this would be a fun way to help me achieve some of my 2017 new years resolutions (yes, I really do them), and help me keep a reflective mindset on a weekly basis. Getting this book was a quiet reminder that it can be so strangely yet wonderfully refreshing to do something for myself - not for work, not for other people, not for fitness... just for lil' ol' me. 

So whether it's getting yourself flowers, doing yoga, writing lists, or whatever... do something for lil' ol' YOU that takes you to Positive Vibe Land. In fact, I'd love to hear what you do to get there! Let me know in the comments!

 

 

 

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

The Plot Thickens - Dana Chirps

Whew! So many unexpected happenings (like that positive spin?!) have occurred in the last couple of weeks. 

Originally, I was going to be moving to Bermuda with Brett on February 4th. He ended up having to start his 30 day rotation (that means he is working 30 days in a row) practically right after moving me out of my place in Fort Lauderdale. We also weren't expecting that he'd be doing full (30 day) rotations, but that seems to be the case. We'll miss spending Valentine's Day together (not a huge deal to either of us). But we're also going to miss spending our anniversary together which is a bummer in my book. I wasn't looking to do anything remotely extravagant, but I was hoping to cheers to a great year with a beach picnic. We might miss his birthday (March 1), but we aren't not sure yet. He doesn't care about missing his birthday, but I'm a big believer that birthdays are meant to be celebrated! This experience definitely has given me an even higher level of respect for military couples who are regularly apart (a lot more than we are, and often under much more dangerous circumstances).

We're also getting the hang of the time zone difference - he's a pilot and flies to places like London, Paris, Abu Dhabi, and Dubai. I don't have as many distractions as he does (he's getting the hang of a new job and gets to explore when he lands for longer periods of time - as he should), so I think he is having an easier time adjusting than me - but we are both trying to truck through it.

I also had to decide if I wanted to still move to Bermuda on February 4th, and get there by myself. I decided not to since I wouldn't have a means of transportation, and a lot of places aren't on Google Maps. Plus it would give me a chance to spend a lot of time with my family, and visit some close friends - something I haven't gotten to do without a massive sense of being rushed in years. 

It's a very good thing that I ended up choosing to stick tight at my parent's place in VA while Brett finishes his rotation because the apartment we had signed a lease for very unexpectedly fell through. So we are on the hunt again! Although I was eager to get to Bermuda, I can't help but think this is one of those "everything happens for a reason" moments. And excitedly, we are finding some pretty fantastic alternatives. 

And then there's work. I don't really talk specifics about work on my blog. But I will say that although I started off optimistic, I have a feeling my gears are going to be shifting aggressively quite soon. But more on that later.

Ok, enough about the less than ideal happenings. Here are some of the positives that have occurred in the past few weeks:

  • Getting to spend significant amounts of time with my family, and dog!
  • Seeing friends, and their munchkins. My God, my friends have made some cool little babies.
  • To keep myself fit (and sane) during this month I signed up for 30 classes for $30 at Burn Boot Camp Short Pump. I go with one of my life long best friends, Emily, but have also made some new friends there! It's a warm and inviting bunch varying in skill levels. The workout is 45 minutes - each day has a different focus. It's a blast, and a solid sweat sesh. FYI to local mom's in the area - they provide free childcare during several of their class times. 
  • Although Brett and I haven't signed a new lease just yet, I feel very confident that we are going to come out on top of this situation. I'm really excited to see where we end up!
  • So we are missing a bunch of holidays together, but we aren't missing my birthday or cancer-free day, which is nice.
  • I've done an amazing job not shopping. Ok, fine. So I went shopping once. And I bought stuff only because they were amazing deals (we're talking a $16 bikini, people!). But I've been practicing self restraint like nobody's business. Packing those 3 measly suitcases of belongings is just around the corner. 
  • It's been so refreshing to experience the general friendliness of Richmond. It's cool to see people going out of their way to help other people.

All for now!

 

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Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

The Most Wrong I've Ever Been - Dana Chirps

View from the pool at The W Fort Lauderdale.

So Brett successfully (thank you sweet baby Jesus) completed his rigorous month-long training this last Friday for his new job. Right from the classroom, he went to the airport to fly from Dallas (where his training was) to Fort Lauderdale to help me move. He was happy to help me, but had asked for me to have most of everything packed since he would be getting in later in the evening. No problem. Right?

So after work, I packed my stuff with the genuine and honest attempt of doing enough work so that we would only have a couple of easy hours of packing left, ensuring a departure of 10am the next morning. After I was "done" I met up with some girlfriends at a seafood restaurant up the road on the intracoastal called "Coconuts." We wined and dined, and had a grand ol' time. My "last supper" was filled with everything I could have asked for: girlfriends, a water view, extra bread for the table, and hilariously inappropriate discussions... you know the ones where you and your girlfriends end up wondering out loud if guys have ANY idea how CRAZY chick conversations can get. Those are my favorite topics, and sort of a specialty of mine.

After dinner we thought about getting drinks somewhere while waiting for Brett to arrive (they hadn't met him yet), but then I remembered that I had plenty of booze at my place that I didn't want to pack the next morning. So down the street we went to my apartment to consume my excess libations. When my friends walked into my place, they each seemed to have some level of concern for my supposed lack of packing. Even then I still wasn't buying it, and quickly moved on to the :::ahem::: enlightening subjects of conversation that continued even as Brett walked through the door. Brett provided balance (or perhaps fuel to the fire) to our enthusiastic chatter brimming with estrogen by playing bartender and crafting some fantastic concoction of vodka and thin mints (standard things to have in ones kitchen, is it not?). He really is a keeper. 

At some point a couple of the girls had to scoot. So it was Brett, Kristen, Kate and I all standing in the kitchen when Brett realizes I hadn't packed my kitchen yet. I STILL didn't see what the big deal was - it's not like I had a ton of stuff! Kristen, suggested (a more accurate word would be "started") packing then and there. It was at that very second I realized I had been wrong about my packing, but I was still unaware of HOW wrong I was. A couple hours into this process, the group knew they were going to have to get me to get rid of stuff since everything had to fit in my small SUV.

Now you have to understand, I have zero qualms with getting rid of stuff I don't use, but I HATE wasting my hard earned money. And I was having to get rid of things that I actually used, and therefor metaphorically pissing money out the window (side note - I need a dramatic font, UGH!). My dear friends ended up getting me hammered (that's 3 drinks for this gal) so that I was more willing to part with all of the items that were not going to fit in my car. Yes, I realize I said one of my new years resolutions was to embrace simplicity, but damn, can't a girl keep her toaster oven?! The answer is apparently no. No she cannot.

Kristen and Kate left pretty late, and Brett and I did a little more work before passing out. The next morning the girls plus Kate's bf, Glen, came back and helped us to completion. We finished in the afternoon, celebrated with pizza at Mellow Mushroom, and then Brett and I finally hit the road around 3pm. I was SEVEN HOURS OFF - and that's with 4 extra people helping!!!

Sure, I've been wrong before. But I'm pretty sure this is the most wrong I have ever been in executing a plan, EVER. 

Luckily, the ride from Fort Lauderdale, to Richmond was much smoother than the packing. Brett drove all but two hours. The jury is still out on whether that was a chivalrous maneuver, or just his way of avoiding my artistic interpretations of lane changes. We stopped in South Carolina on Saturday night, and made it to Richmond late in the afternoon on Sunday. He met my parents, and Blue (the chocolate lab). Then the four of us met up with Moose (brother) and Lady Moose (brother's gf) at one of my favorite Richmond spots, Ginger Thai. After dinner he met one of my best friends and her family. The next day was chill since we both had work to do, and then he had to head home (he lives in NH).

Originally Brett and I were planning on heading to Bermuda this Saturday, but his new job needed him to start his 30 day rotation early, as in today kind of early. I still could have gone to Bermuda on my own, but given that the place we are moving into isn't even on google maps, not having any sense of direction, and no mode of transportation (other than my own two feet), we thought it was best for me to hang tight at my parent's place in VA until his rotation is done. 

Thankfully, it's just enough time for me to figure out how I can pack 3 suitcases of belongings for the move.

2 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Some Realness - Dana Chirps

my escape from it all - fresh air. this is about 1.5 miles south of me on fort lauderdale beach.

The last few months have been completely, and utterly insane. Throughout this period of time, I randomly had a few people message me saying something to the effect of, "girl, it looks like you're living the life!" They were going strictly off of my social media. I found myself wanting to tell each of them (and sometimes doing so) that yes, things are good, but there's plenty of stress and struggle behind that very same Instagram account. As a part of the rebrand of this blog that I did back in August, I mentally vowed to myself that I would be a little more transparent on my blog - even if it meant it wasn't all sunshine and rainbows. So, here it goes...

From about the end of October to the new year, my life was a total SHIT SHOW. Below is a list of some of what was on my plate. I might not have the timeframe totally accurate, and some of these are out of order. It was such a blur. I was on survival mode. I have only (very recently) begun to catch my breath. 

  • At the end of September my mom had to cancel her trip to visit me here in Fort Lauderdale because her father, my Papa, had made an unexpected bad turn in his health. It was weeks before he actually passed. I took some very last minute trips up north to be near family, and then to attend his funeral (he passed away October 20th). The loss of my Papa was devastating for my whole family, but I do feel as though we (especially my cousins) have become closer. However, the post you saw on my Instagram was me apple picking. 
  • At my Papa's funeral, I learned that my Aunt/Godmother (dad's side) had been moved to hospice due to her lung cancer caused from years of smoking. Another last minute trip up north was made with the intention of "visiting" her... but unexpectedly, that very same visit turned into saying goodbye. It was agony, but I'm glad I got to see her one more time. It was also the first time in five years my immediate family was all together in the same room, which was special despite the circumstances.
  • Around the timeframe my Aunt passed away (Dec 7), my Uncle -her husband- was diagnosed with lung cancer. But Uncle is tough as nails, has a ton of support, and is doing his part to beat this thing because he has motorcycle rides he wants to get to.
  • Somewhere in the midst of this... my boyfriend, Brett, was talking about a possibility for a job that would require us both to move out of the country, and move quickly. Ultimately, he got the offer and accepted it. This was very exciting, and I was (and am) elated for this opportunity for him, but in came the stress of moving.
  • I had to negotiate and fight the terms of my lease. Originally, I was told that I could not go month-to-month because that was against the terms of the lease. That would have meant I either would have had to move my stuff into a storage unit and find a place to live for a couple months (K, I'll forever owe you for even entertaining the idea of letting me crash on your couch), or I would have been asked to pay for an entire year's worth of rent for a unit that I wouldn't be living in for "breaking the terms." Thank God I read the fine print (pro tip, ya'll), and was confident enough to fight back. I was able to get my lease extended, short-term, and in a month-to-month format. I'm pretty sure there was a beach picture on Instagram. 
  • Knowing that this move was becoming a strong possibility, I knew it would be a lot cheaper/easier for me to sell my furniture and belongings instead of moving them. Cue the rodeo that is Facebook Marketplace. But thank the dear sweet Lord for aligning me with a few people, (one in particular - CS!) that became the new and rightful owners of the possessions that I was parting with. I feel like I could write a book titled "Sisterhood of the Traveling Couch." But using my ironing board, and long board as a dinner table has officially gotten old. lol.
  • Let's add job searching/interviewing for a rewarding and remote marketing position I could do in another country while already being more than busy with the actual job I was currently employed at... that was probably a crab legs for dinner Instagram post. 
  • And then actually giving notice... that was more emotional than I was expecting. Thankfully it ended up working out just fine. I was asked to fly back to Fort Lauderdale after Xmas/New Years to work just one day, which I thought was odd... but it ended up saving me about $175 (despite cost of ticket I paid for) because I didn't have to pay out of pocket for insurance for January anymore, so I shrugged it off and didn't mind it, despite the added hassle. This corresponded with a bestie selfie on Instagram during the flight back to FLL.
  • And just to make things a little more interesting, I was coordinating (and arguing with insurance), and then had that well-overdue surgery on my vocal chords on December 22nd, a $2000 procedure (after insurance). Christmas decorations post on Instagram for sure!
  • In order to wrap up my work projects in a way that put my boss and coworkers in a good position, and to give me enough time to heal from vocal chord surgery, I had to negotiate my start date for my new job. It was a conversation that started with massive anxiety ("what if I lose this opportunity?!" "what if I can't get my voice fixed!?"), but ended in relief. My new boss could not have been any more understanding and willing to work with me. Brunch pic on Instagram.

Did I mention all this took place during the holidays? The most wonderful time of the year, eh? I had reached a point where I felt like my brain was going to split in half, was mentally and physically exhausted, and suddenly found myself quite empathetic towards Britney Spears' 2007 meltdown. I'm not one to wish time or days away, but by the end of December 2016, I was definitely looking forward to a fresh start with a new year. 

Once I got to the first week of January, I felt like I had finally made it over the hump. Yes, my heart still aches intensely when I think about the losses my family has had, but it no longer feels as raw as it did. My Uncle is kicking ass, and putting cancer in its place. I have successfully sold all the big pieces in my apartment, and I'm donating what doesn't fit in my car when I move this weekend. My lease in Fort Lauderdale worked out, Brett found us a place to move into, and we successfully tag teamed to get his condo in Portsmouth rented out. Vocal chord surgery (and recovery) is already a thing of the past. I started my new job, and so far I'm really enjoying both the job and the team. I'm sleeping better (you can literally see the difference on my FitBit), I feel lighter (but am eating more), and no longer have any negative thoughts or stress lurking in the back of my mind. Life is good.

I really hope this post doesn't come across as "woe is me." I truly think my life is freaking AWESOME, and consider myself to be someone with a positive outlook. But when somebody younger than me had reached out to me and said my life seemed "perfect," it made me want to write this post to shed some more light into what was occurring in my life "behind the scenes." To compare your life to someone else's without knowing the whole story is a dangerous game, and I did not want to contribute to that.

Despite what social media profiles project - nobody's life is perfect, certainly not mine. Know there is almost always more to the story. 

 

 

 

8 Comments

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

We the People - Dana Chirps

America, the beautiful,

land that I love.

Your stars are cutting me,

your stripes strangling me.

Our nation has recently reached unprecedented levels of emotion. Several months ago I consciously made a decision to do try best to not participate in the "debates" that were and have continued to take place primarily on the internet. But as I've sat here in silence, I've observed. 

I crouch down to the ground,

weeping with Lady Liberty.

I've read countless threads where typically warm and kind humans speak with rage at each other. I've seen family members publicly announce that they were going to stop talking to each other. I've shook my head in complete disgust reading comments about the current and former president's wife and children. I've witnessed time and time again the argument of "I'm right, and you're stupid" take place. Guns are not the most dangerous weapon out there. Our words are. We the People, need to remember that.

As I stare through the night,

I seek proof our flag is still there.

We the People, have come too far as a country to allow for it to be so carelessly split apart. We have forgotten we are playing for the same team, The United States of America. Think about the last time you felt unified - that feeling of being connected, our entire nation once had that. I pray that we are not so far gone to never experience that as a country again. 

But we take a deep breath,

and bring ourselves to our feet.

We the People, come from all different backgrounds, and walks of life. We the People have the freedom of choice when talking to our neighbors to either engage in a meaningful conversation, or in a malicious dispute. We the People, are capable having respectful and passionate debates. We the People, can approach that conversation with the openness and boldness to change our own stance. We the People, can be respectful of the person, without respecting the concept they support. 

We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union need to begin with each other.

With our hands intertwined we walk,

towards one nation, indivisible. 

 

 

 

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Adios, Soflo - Dana Chirps

3 blocks from my place.

This post is a little all over the place because there is just SO much to say. About 4 years ago I knew I'd be leaving my job, and knew I was also ready to leave Virginia. With the exception of a few years in northern Jersey, I had spent my life in VA, and wanted a change. So I applied for jobs in cities I liked. My top choice was Boston, but I didn't get any bites. I ended up getting the most job offers in South Florida, and that is how I ended up here. 

Moving to a new city where I didn't know anyone gave me a certain level of independence, and confidence that I am not sure could have been achieved any other way. With my immediate family and the bulk of my network being 1000 miles away - everything was up to me. It's been both scary, and invigorating. I have zero regrets in moving here, and have largely loved this chapter in my life. 

But it's time for the next adventure, and I am moving. In fact, this weekend is my last weekend living in South Florida. 

My experience here has been a mix of highs, lows, and a ton of sunshine. There will be things I miss, and things I don't. In regards to the negatives, even though they were challenging, I know I ultimately came out on top. The negative experiences only made me better. 

The lows and things I won't miss:

  • The amount of shady people down here, especially those disguised as "friends." But thank you for teaching me how to use a very sophisticated filter to determine who I allow in my life. 
  • The dating scene. (Though I have a boyfriend now). But thank you for teaching me to be fearless in addressing BS head-on, and for helping me figure out what I wanted (or didn't want) in a relationship.
  • Phonies in the workplace. But thank you for reminding me that it's always worth the bumpy ride to rise above.
  • The blatant obsession (not to be confused with the general liking) of money, cars, plastic surgery, and material things. But thank you for showing me that "keeping up with the Joneses," getting tons of plastic surgery, and owning (or pretending to own) a lot of shiny objects is (sometimes) just a very glossy way of hiding other issues and insecurities. Even extreme wealth doesn't buy happiness. 
  • The glorification of cheating/affairs. But thank you for increasing my respect for those who are loyal (and proud to be) to their significant others.
  • Drugs... this particular low is especially targeted towards the guy that I was once set up with on a blind date. The pansy roofied me. I literally woke up naked and alone in a hospital not knowing why I was here (had no memory of the night). Thank God for my guardian angels, as what often happens when a girl is roofied did not happen to me. But thank you for showing me that for every jerk in this world, there are at least 10 incredibly wonderful people. (Side note: I was also delighted to learn that somehow even in my drugged state, I was still seemingly determined to stick up for myself - I was told I broke the guy's hand. :)) 
  • The traffic.
  • The "palmetto bugs." ::::shudder::::
  • Aventura, Doral, Kendall. (lol)

The highs (Where do I begin?!):  

  • I learned how to search, find, and set up my own place - it's an empowering feeling to choose your very own home, in the city of your choice.
  • My career in marketing is (in a word) thriving. I attribute a lot of that success to the opportunities I was blessed with while living here. I can confidently walk into any industry, speak to any stakeholder at any level, and can provide them with revolutionary marketing strategies and tactics  - this is a sentence I would not have dared to put on paper 5 years ago. I have also had the privilege of working for some true leaders (DV, looking at you), and met some AMAZING friends because of work (ninjas, TA, network/industry peeps, I love you).
  • The newfound confidence of being on my own led me to travel to 8 different countries in Europe, solo. 
  • The friends I've made here! My goodness, do I roll with an awesome pack! 
  • How international South Florida is. I absolutely LOVE this, and love that I've made connections with such a diverse group of people. I would not have it any other way. 
  • The weather, and the surrounding natural beauty. This. is. everything. Almost every single week I have had a "I can't believe I live here," moment. It is PARADISE, people! Dining outside, all year round. Going to the beach, all year round. Never having to wear bulky annoying layers. Folks, it's not as good as it seems - it's better.
  • The brightness - between the sunshine, the rays coming through my bedroom windows every morning, and the general affinity to neon colors down here... I just dig the vibrancy. 
  • Living three blocks to the beach. This has been an absolute dream. I can walk to the beach, and to some of my favorite restaurants, and bars. I can go for a run up and down A1A, with the ocean on my side the whole way. Every day is a beach day.
  • How active people are down here. It is so motivating and invigorating to see so many people being active, and taking advantage of their environment. Shout out boot camppppp!!!! 
  • The "only in south Florida" moments. 
  • Being a blonde in Miami.
  • All the bad drivers - I'll miss them because this will probably have been the only time/place where I'll get to be classified as an "average" driver. ;)
  • 94.9 - lovvvve my latin music in the morning!!!!!
  • Cheap hockey tickets.
  • Being able to keep close tabs and be involved with marketing luxury real estate here!
  • Basketball on the beach.
  • Publix, and the dude there that hooks me up with extra crab legs from time to time.
  • Having tons of things to do - paddleboarding, biking, nude beaches, shopping, bar hopping, exploring, road tripping, rooftop pools, rooftop parties, rooftop bars, everglades, Key West, Art Basel, festivals, concerts, kite surfing, boating, boat parades, boat parties, renting yachts, clubbing, you name it, Soflo has it.
  • Burger Fi, Steak 954/The Living Room, S3, Grille 401, Houston's, Sushi Rock, The Alchemist, Bulla, Park Tavern, El Camino, Neuvos Cubanos, Wynwood Kitchen and Bar, Lure, Tap 42, Rebel House, Elbo Room (lol), and a ton of other spots.
  • All the different areas - Jupiter, Mizner Park in Boca, The Ave in Delray, allllll over Laudy, SoBe, Wynwood, Midtown, Lincoln Road, Coconut Grove, Brickell, and Little Havana.
  • Knowing that no matter how hard you try there is always someone weirder in South Florida!
  • There is really nothing quite like a wild night in South Florida. Drinking, dancing, partying, and just having a fun time. 

Good grief, the good outweighed the bad BY FAR. On more than one occasion, I've compared South Florida to the kind of woman you'd say "Thank God you're pretty" to... but I really have loved my experience here, and feel so grateful for everyone that helped make it so wonderful. It has been such an adventure to chase South Florida's sunshine for almost 4 years. I will most certainly miss it, but am excited for the next chapter. Stay tuned to see where I'm headed! (Those that know - shhhhh!!! don't give it away!)

I will miss this.

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Resolutions - 2017

2016... what a ride! Although life in the fast lane can be fun, I am really looking forward to some of the big changes I have lined up for 2017. But before I get to those changes - let's see how well I did with my 2016 resolutions!

Here are my resolutions from last year, and my feedback in bold!

  1. Fitness - I really like the at home (Beachbody) workouts I've been doing. They pretty much take away any/all excuses, and the portability keeps me on track when I travel. I would like to check out options for a weekly fitness class of sorts (MMA? Hip Hip Dance?) just to do something different for cardio. I still do and immensely enjoy the at home workouts. This year I also added running, and biking to the mix. I also took a swim lesson from a close friend (thanks Ana!). But the most fun I had in this department has been attending outdoor bootcamp classes on Monday and Wednesday nights. The people are awesome, and it's run by an upbeat guy named Josh who devises pretty intense (but scaleable) workouts, that are paired with his hand selected tunes that are blasted through speakers. For anyone local to Fort Lauderdale, I highly recommend giving it a shot! Here's the link if you're interested. It's a very welcoming group with all types of people, sizes, and skill levels. 
  2. Diet - Like most Americans, the holidays put a slight damper on my diet, but nothing too crazy. So when I get back to Fort Lauderdale (currently in VA visiting for the holidays), I plan to jump back on track. Ehhhhh my diet has really been 70% healthy, and 30% frat boy. I could have done better with this resolution.
  3. Work - Do my thing. And maximize the opportunities I have been given and will continue to get. I'm proud to say that I managed the marketing of about 50+ properties, when typically someone in my role has no more than 35. My team also won an award for one of the websites I worked on - so that was pretty cool! It's been fun to bring these luxury properties to life.
  4. Social - I've recently achieved a much better work/life balance, and really look forward to continuing to enjoy it in 2016. I feel as though I have really made such great friends in South Florida... the hardest part is actually hanging out with them as they are very similar to me - very busy and always on the go! In 2016 I also learned that even though it can be difficult and even a little scary (especially when it's a very close friend), that sometimes it's best to let people go if proven to be more negative than positive. 
  5. Personal - Stick to my guns. I'm surrounded by temptation in any and every form you can and can't imagine. I've made some mistakes, and although I've already moved forward from them, writing them as a goal is a good reminder to be the person my dog thinks I am. I definitely accomplished this. I'm human, and I make mistakes. But I didn't do anything to broke a strong moral code I have for myself.
  6. Travel - San Antonio (ok this one is a gimme b/c it's for a work trip), Key West (maybe for my bday?), NYC, and somewhere in Europe (Iceland? Budapest? Ireland? Barcelona? Italy? To be decided...). Definitely knocked this one out of the park! San Antonio, Key West, Budapest, Vienna, Prague, Bermuda, Portsmouth, NH, New Orleans, Boston, Cape Cod, San Fran.
  7. Photography - I bought an absurd camera, and I'm definitely getting the hang of it but still have a lot to learn! I've certainly improved my camera skills. I still have ways to go, but I'm chipping away.
  8. DanaChirps - Just keep writing. Still writing! I'm also proud of my rebrand and website revamp.

My goals for 2017:

  1. Fitness - Ease into training programs, and be more diligent about injury prevention. I had two injuries this year - left knee and left hip... largely due to going balls to the wall. As much as I looooathe stillness - I'm afraid that yoga might need to happen more regularly regardless of whether or not I want to. At least I love yoga apparel, so I'm halfway there.
  2. Diet - This year I'd like to focus on eating clean. My plan to accomplish this is to do more cooking and going out to eat less. Luckily now that I have a boyfriend, it's a lot more fun to cook. I don't enjoy cooking for myself - it's just a utilitarian task when it's just me. But I do enjoy cooking for someone who warmly appreciates my meals.
  3. Work - Find projects/work that allow me to feel empowered and fulfilled. 
  4. Travel - I don't know where. I don't know when. I just know. And considering we're only two weeks into 2017 and I've already traveled to the Dallas area and Orlando... I think I'm on track. 
  5. Photography - Practice, practice, practice. I also ordered a couple of new gadgets that I need to learn. 
  6. Embrace Simplicity - Buy less stuff. Don't do everything all the time. Just stop and BE more often.
  7. Relax More - This sort of ties into embracing simplicity. I'm a naturally high-octane person, but I think it would be beneficial for me to learn to make time to operate at a level 6 rather than a constant 10. 
  8. Relationships -This effort is for all kinds of relationships I have. But I'd like to continue to work on being less reactive. I'm not totally sure, but I think it stems from thinking of worst case scenarios when something is unknown or unclear to me. Worst case scenarios are often sort of scoffed at, but my reality is that on more than one occasion the worst case scenario I imagined was actually the truth. Learning to separate past from present is a challenge, but it's one that I think I could benefit from. 
  9. DanaChirps - I am really focusing on building the social presence - so if you're not already following me - click on the little grey social media icons on the top right hand corner, and subscribe to my email newsletter (homepage). Emails probably won't be launched until Q3.
Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

Surviving No Speak Week - Dana Chirps

It's been quite an interesting week or so. The surgery I had on my vocal chords was (as predicted) a piece of cake. It was way harder to not talk for a week than it was painful. My forms of communication included but were not limited to: messages on my whiteboard, whistling, clapping, facial expressions, and texting. My whiteboard quickly became an extension of myself. The tricky part was writing/texting fast enough to keep up with the conversations.

Caught in action. 

Going out in public during no speak week was a little nerve wracking. On Christmas Eve I ventured out into the wilderness that is the Short Pump Mall with my best friend, Jay. I received looks of confusion, complete skepticism, and sympathy when salespeople would try to talk to me. Luckily Jay was quick to act as my interpreter and communicator. We also put the whiteboard to good use playing hangman and tic-tac-toe while waiting for gift wrapping. We ended up having a great time finishing our last minute Christmas shopping despite my silence.

On other occasions, I felt embarrassed having to type my thoughts into a phone (those messages usually began with "Forgive me, but I'm unable to speak...) for salespeople to read, or when running into people I knew. But I appreciated it so much when those people didn't make a big deal of it. 

Quiet accomplishments:

  • At home, I was pleasantly impressed with how quickly my parents and brother learned my "whistle language." I felt like R2D2 in human form.
  • I also successfully FaceTimed with my trusty whiteboard which was pretty funny. 
  • Got out of paying a toll (wrong turn) communicating via whiteboard and very desperate facial expressions.

As far as what shows I watched:

  • The OA - This is on Netflix, and just Season 1 is out. Several people recommended this show. It's super weird, a little sinister, and very intriguing - perfect ingredients for a great story if you ask me! But if you ask my mom, she thought the show was weird as hell, and was glad when it was over.
  • Revenge - This is also on Netflix, and is an older series. Totally a chick show with tons of backstabbing and drama - it was as though Perez Hilton wrote the script. There's quite a few theatric "reminders" of why it is a bad idea to lie or cheat on your significant other, ha! My mom and I aggressively plowed through the first season.
  • Movies - I haven't gotten to movies just yet, but someone (thank you SS!) was kind enough to send some for me to watch. But since I can only speak "as needed" for the next week or two - I have a feeling I'll be watching them!

So how about my actual new voice? It's weird to say it's my "new" voice because it's sort of technically my "old" voice. I suppose a more accurate phrase would be my "real voice." I held out until the afternoon of freedom day (the first day I was allowed to talk) because I was nervous by what it would sound like! But it's a lot softer, and higher than the raspy tone I had pre-op! I forgot how girly my voice really is. The quality of my voice will continue to improve over the next couple of weeks as my vocal chords fully heal.

Everyone wanted to know what my first words would be. I'm sure this will shock the grand total of nobody, but those words ended up being, "The Bruins won last night." :)

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.

No Speak Week, Initial Thoughts - Dana Chirps

First and foremost - thank you to every person who has been thoughtful enough to reach out to me, send me suggestions, and toss thoughts/prayers in my direction. I was warmly blown away by how many people reached out - it was a wonderful reminder that I have such incredible people in my life. Yesterday morning I had my vocal chord surgery, and my doc said it was a great success! My throat is a little sore, and it hurts when I clear my throat/cough, but other than that I feel like a million bucks. 

But I thought it might be interesting to share what it's like to not be allowed to talk! I downloaded a text-to-speech app call "Speak," am texting a TON, and also bought and have been using a whiteboard. It's nice to have the whiteboard simply so that I don't have a glowing screen in my face all day long. I haven't used the app much yet, but I selected a woman with a British accent in my futile hopes of having Adele's voice when this is done with because she had the same procedure done. ;)

Other thoughts:

  • It's fun to actually write (versus type!). I'm having a good time sending pics of messages/doodles I scribble on my whiteboard. I realize I could text them too, but it's fun to change it up and do something different.
  • I feel like I'm having to relearn how to write.
  • This is a good one - only people who know me extremely well would know this, but I happen whistle a ton. I don't even realize I'm doing it half the time. My dad and brother do, too. But given the restraints of no-speak-week, I instinctively started to respond/acknowledge with a whistle. Especially "thank you."
  • I clap whenever I'm trying to express being happy or excited. I didn't think to do this, I just sort of did it. Funny how one can naturally and quickly adapt as their environment or circumstances change. 
  • The spidey sense effect is real. Everything is 1000x louder, I swear to God. I hear everything.

I think I'll venture out into the public either today or tomorrow - we'll see how that goes! :)

Comment

Dana Podgurski

Hi everyone! I'm Dana Podgurski! 

I'm a foot in the mouth, tongue in cheek, head in the clouds, and heart on the sleeve kind of gal. I live for new experiences, but am a total sucker for nostalgia at the same time. I'm tough as nails, but am a complete softie for all things kids and animal related. I fly by the seat of my pants, and live for adventure. But I firmly believe that adventure is a mindset that one's self determines.

For work, I am a marketer through and through. Bringing brands to life, and content marketing are passions of mine. Many would consider what I do as nerdy, but I seriously dig it. I have been doing marketing contract work for years, and appreciate the variety it brings, and the relationships I've developed with my clients. To check out my work portfolio, or if you're interested in a partnership, click here.

For fun I love to create - writing/blogging, photography, and painting are my main three mediums of doing so. Feeling good and healthy is also high on my list, as it really lends itself to making everything more enjoyable. So I maintain a very active lifestyle, eat pretty healthy, and am outdoors as much as I can be. And if my blog didn't make it abundantly clear, I absolutely LOVE to travel. I spend any extra money I have on plane tickets, and feel so fortunate to have been to several amazing destinations both domestically and internationally. There's nothing more fulfilling than coming home from a trip and adding a been-there-pin to my map.